Week 14 CSA – 22nd August 2017

This week we return to our regular schedule.

We hope that everyone got to experience the total solar eclipse. For us, we had fifty people stay on the campground adjacent to the farm. During the 2.5 minutes of totality that we had here, the turkeys and guineas went crazy, the sheep became active as they do during cool nights, and the chickens tried to make their way back to the chicken coop. The atmosphere was strange, with changing temperatures and odd shadows, and we were home for it. Many people around the world travelled great distances to experience the total eclipse. How lucky we were to be on the farm!

– Ezra, Michelle Stacy and Greg

(p.s. Please “like” and share our Facebook and Instagram pages with your friends and family, and remember to tag us in your posts @WindingStairFarm!)

Farm Perspectives


This was an incredibly distracting week, between preparations to leave town for the weekend and for the eclipse on Monday, a 90-pound, six-month old puppy showed up on our porch. He was great company for the week, and we found him a wonderful new home, but he certainly disrupted the peace. 🙂 On another note, we were fortunate to have The Laurel Magazine here on Thursday to take photographs for a piece that will be featured in their September issue. I was the one who was home that day so I gave Marjorie a tour. It was a wonderful reminder of just how much we are trying to do, and the variety that we offer. I sometimes feel like we repeat certain items too much (being new to all of this, I have a lot of undue paranoia), but when I had the chance to take a step back and see the seasonal picture, it was awesome. After all, the farm is only five acres. How many varieties can you grow in a one acre garden? A lot, it turns out.

Despite the onslaught of fungus problems in the garden, many of the plants are rebounding, and the seedlings that we started a few weeks ago are thriving (fingers crossed). Bush beans and runner beans are growing quickly, squash and watermelons are slowly starting to ripen (I am still desperately waiting for the watermelons to be ready). Beets seem to be our winner this year – they are easy to start, grow, and don’t have any issues (this year … we’ll see what next year holds). In the greenhouse, cabbage, broccoli, caulliflower, kohlrabi, beans, kale and lettuce seedlings are waiting until the days are a little cooler before we plant them in the garden. It’s strange to always be actively planning for the next season while trying to manage the present, but I like it because I am starting to appreciate the four seasons in a new way.

This Week’s Harvest

‘Reisetomate’ and ‘Golden Sunray’ Tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum)
Some tomatoes! This year has been rough for tomatoes, but our harvest is finally looking heavier. ‘Reisetomate’ tomatoes are really unique, interesting and old; they’re an old German variety that looks like a bunch of cherry tomatoes stuck together. The idea was that you could carry one of these with you while traveling and pull off pieces instead of cut a slice, meaning the fruit would last longer (it is also called the Traveler’s Tomato).  They have very crisp flavor, and are pretty lemony and bright. ‘Golden Sunrays’ are beautiful and yellow, and look like a glowing orb. They have the benefits of commercial tomatoes when it comes to a nice size and shape, but have much more flavor. Their flavor is sweet, but with a really nicely balanced acidity, and they’re pretty meaty, making them good for fresh eating or for adding some yellow to canned sauce.

Sour Gherkins (Melothria scabra)
These fruits are adorable, looking like tiny watermelons. They taste like a cucumber, but with a touch of lemon. They’re great for cutting in half and putting into salad, or into fresh salsa, or for adding some crisp bite and a nice look to pickles.

‘Blue Scotch Curled’ Kale (Brassica olaracea)
‘Tendercrisp’ Cutting Celery (Apium graveloens)
Basil mix (Ocimum basilicum)
‘Verde’ and ‘Amarylla’ Tomatillos (Physalis ixocarpa)

Recipes & Testimonials

“With cabbage, daikon, and carrots coming in, my neighbor and I have made two big batches of kimchi–my first time and so much fun! There are endless variations, but I chose the easy kimchi recipe at www.meghantelpner.com because it included lots of ginger, garlic, and red pepper flakes for a kick. We played with proportions and easily tripled the recipe, results were incredible and it was ready in under five days. If you have access to a crock it’s worth it to use the traditional method. Red cabbage and radishes created the most beautiful colors! So nourishing!”

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)

May 23 – October 9

Franklin Pick-Up: Saturday mornings at the Franklin Farmer’s Market
Highlands Pick-Up: Monday between 12pm and 1pm at Founder’s Park
Keep it out of the landfill
We strive to keep our footprint as small as possible, and we’d love your help:
  • Bring a bag with you each week
  • Save egg cartons and zip loc bags (we’ll even take egg cartons from your friends)
  • If you don’t compost then you can help us feed our chickens. Keep in your fridge until the next CSA pick up: kale/collard ribs, lettuce hearts, herb stems, egg shells (but please, no onions or garlic)
Sharing recipes
Did you use ingredients from your CSA to make a particularly delicious meal? Send us a photograph and the recipe, and we’ll share it with other CSA members.

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